The Love Letter

The Love Letter

Book - 1995
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In praise of Rameau's Niece, the New York Times hailed "the sheer delight of listening to Cathleen Schine's wonderfully inventive comic voice." Schine's sparkling new comedy of manners is a sublimely sophisticated romance, a delectable confection that pairs illicit love with mystery and the joys of selling books. Helen MacFarquhar is a woman in control of her life and everyone in it - until an anonymous love letter falls into her hands one summer morning. Until that moment, smart, sexy, fortyish Helen has led a blissful existence as the proprietor of a small bookstore in a quaint seaside town outside New York. A siren of a bookseller, Helen beguiles her customers into buying the tony titles she recommends and flirts shamelessly with nearly every one of the town's eccentric residents. But Helen's self-confidence falters when the love letter arrives in her mail. "How do you fall in love?" the letter asks, and the question becomes Helen's obsession. As she tries to figure out who wrote th
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1995.
ISBN: 9780395689967
0395689961
Branch Call Number: SCHI
Characteristics: 257p. 21cm.

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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 27, 2014

A misdirected love letter, and a steamy romance in a modern comedy of manners that is smart, funny and goes straight for the heart. A must read for anyone who enjoyed Rameau's Niece.

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GuyN
Nov 12, 2014

Schine chooses a heroine who runs a small bookstore and values intellectual pursuits. References are made to many poets, literary voices, and cultural events but don't expect a true literary novel. This is still a romance novel, after all. The premise of an anonymous love letter that can be interpreted by anyone to apply to anyone is interesting enough. See the quotation I have posted for a glimpse of how she sketches characters.

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GuyN
Nov 06, 2014

Helen was a flirt. She flirted in the spirit of good fellowship and because she loved to flirt. She loved the first moment when the other side was pierced by the arrow of her solicitude; loved the sudden, almost imperceptible retreat, loved the hesitant advance of the return glance, or a smile...always, the warm, intelligent beam of her attention, an exclusive circle of light surrounding each of them, one hundred watts, pure Helen.

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